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AT&T, the second largest telephone carrier, seemingly thwarted in its attempt to buy T-Mobile, the fourth largest, "has been secretly working on an audacious 11th-hour deal" with San Diego's Leap Wireless, according to the New York Times.

Leap would sell AT&T a big piece of Leap's T-Mobile customer accounts and some of its wireless spectrum, says the Times. The Justice Department opposes AT&T's attempted merger with T-Mobile and AT&T announced Thanksgiving that it plans to take a $4 billion charge against earnings to account for the deal's fat breakup fee, "perhaps the biggest fee ever paid for a failed transaction," says the Times. Leap stock is up 1.36% to $7.81 this morning (Nov. 29).

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